The EPPE / EPPSE study is one of the most prominent studies worldwide into the impact of pre-school on children's later outcomes. The study has been tracking the progress of a group of around 3,000 children from the age of 3. In the latest findings, just published, we learn how those children are faring at 16 years old.
The findings are fairly consistent with previous findings. 16 year olds from all social backgrounds benefited from pre-school experience, with 2-3 years' pre-school resulting in better outcomes than 1 year of pre-school.
And high quality pre-school led to better outcomes at age 16, with quality especially important for disadvantaged children. Only high quality pre-schools had a lasting effect on social and behavioural outcomes.
A new feature of this latest report from the EPPE / EPPSE team is an economic analysis of the impact of pre-school. With the children aged 16, the researchers were able to see the impact on children's exam performance, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies used the findings to estimate the impact on the children's future earnings over their lifetime.
The study suggests that going to pre-school on average results in $26,800 higher lifetime earnings for an individual, and $16,000 additional tax revenue for the Government, compared to having no pre-school experience. And going to a high-quality pre-school has an additional positive impact. Compared to low quality provision, high-quality pre-school results in $12,000 higher lifetime earnings for the individual, and $8,000 more tax revenue for the Government.